A new 8-sheet stand-alone curling facility for Chilliwack is scheduled to be open for the 2018/19 season.

Chilliwack Curling Club Manager Bruce Renwick said that, after 15 years of lobbying and waiting patiently, he has seen the first signs of work starting on the new building.

arlier today a drilling rig took some core sample data to send to the three contractors bidding for the build.

The need for a new building was outlined in the last 10-year strategic Parks, Culture and Recreation plan commissioned in 2014 by the City. A budget for this building was approved about two years later.

Bruce said: “Since then our club has been involved in every step of the way. I cannot say enough about how wonderful this process has been with our City staff and council who have looked to us to help them design a facility that will not only be functional, but also will allow us to continue to thrive and grow our club into the future. They want to ensure that what they build will work!”

The new club will feature the most efficient refrigeration and heat recapture plants (2 complete systems) in the province and perhaps the country and world designed by Art Sutherland of Accent Refrigeration.

The project was let out for “Expression of Interest” which closed on Nov. 2 at which time three contractors were picked by the rebuild committee (which included City and Club representatives) and approved by City Council. These three contractors will have until the middle of January to present their concepts (following the committee’s floor plan and refrigeration specifications) and the final contract will be awarded in early February 2017.

The date of substantial completion will be March 1, 2018, at which time they hope to install ice for the month of March in the new facility to ensure that the refrigeration aspect works properly.

Bruce said: “If all is well as our season winds down at the end of March 2018 we will have two weeks to vacate this building before demolition and parking lot reconstruction begins.

“We hope to open the curling part of our facility with a summer bonspiel near the end of August 2018.”